US Is Left Waiting For Godot On Public Domain Day: Once Again, Absolutely Nothing Enters The Public Domain This Year

from the what-public-domain dept

Every January 1st is supposed to be "Public Domain Day," in which all works published in a certain year move into the public domain. And while some parts of the world get to celebrate Public Domain Day this year with the freeing of works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Paul Klee, Leon Trotsky, Walter Benjamin and others, here in the US, we come up empty yet again. Not a single work entered the public domain in the US on January 1st, thanks (yet again) to constant copyright extensions, which include retroactive extensions. Retroactive extensions, of course, make absolutely no sense. If the point of copyright is to act as incentive for the creation of new works, that incentive obviously worked in getting those works created. To then retroactively extend the copyright is to, quite blatantly, go back on the deal, and take away the rights of the public with no recourse or compensation.

And, boy oh boy, were there a lot of wonderful works that would have and should have entered the public domain this past week, if we followed the laws as they existed when those works were created. Headlining the group, what could be more fitting than the famous play Waiting for Godot, which is all about waiting for someone or something that never comes.

Other works of interest? Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley and Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss. The first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien would be free to build upon. A bunch of movies would have moved into the public domain as well, including On the Waterfront, Alfred Hitchcock's versions of Rear Window and Dial M for Murder, Kurasawa's amazing Seven Samurai and Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Chances are that many of us will not live to see any of those works actually enter the public domain, despite the promise that was given to us by the US government that they would all enter the public domain by now.

Copyright defenders love to claim that infringement is a form of "theft." Yet, they never seem troubled by the idea that copyright extensions like this have clearly taken away the public's clearly stated rights to make use of these works under the deal that was made with those content creators at the time those works were officially published. It seems to me that taking away such rights from the public is significantly more troubling than someone downloading a song they never would have paid for in the first place.


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  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Wait - this kind of things has to be announced?

    Since when? It should be automatic.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Call the wahhhmbulance. We have a logical injury here.

    One of the the things that copyright opponents do is try to make it sound like these works are somehow not available, out of reach, or otherwise cannot be enjoyed by the public. That is patently false, we all know that.

    Copyright law has been amended a few times over it's history to allow for a longer copyright. There will never be enough votes in the house and senate in the US to undo these changes. They are the law of the land, reviewed and past by your elected officials, doing their jobs.

    Desperate and whiny, one of the TD things that made it into 2011 unscathed.

     

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    A Dan (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:53am

    2000 Leagues

    Shouldn't that be 20,000?

     

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    Monarch, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:57am

    Re: Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:45am

    How about just pointing out that the USA has CORRUPT Politicians that take bribes in the form of lobbying and campaign contributions to extend copyright protections beyond what they were supposed to be. Making Copyright a form of welfare instead of allowing the public to finally OWN what they buy! I for one should be able to do exactly what I want with a DVD when I BUY it! After all the studios and distributors keep telling me "Own it on DVD today" not "LICENSE it on DVD today!"

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re: Feeding the trolls...

    "Copyright law has been amended a few times over it's history to allow for a longer copyright. There will never be enough votes in the house and senate in the US to undo these changes. They are the law of the land, reviewed and past by your elected officials, doing their jobs."
    Yep, bought and paid for politicians making laws at the whim of their corporate "sponsors."

    There is no justice in enforcing an unjust law.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:59am

    Re:

    PUBLIC DOMAIN BAD!!! LENGTHY COPYRIGHT GOOD!!!

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Friend, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:05am

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    None of what you just said proves Mike wrong. Desperate? Whiny? I've got one for YOU... "childish".

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:05am

    Re: 2000 Leagues

    I was going to point that out also ...

     

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  9.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    Considering that William Golding, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, Dr. Seuss, Aldos Huxley, Elia Kazan, Samuel Beckett, and J.R.R. Tolkein are all dead, who exactly is current copyright law benefiting? It's not the creators.

     

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  10.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    "One of the the things that copyright opponents do is try to make it sound like these works are somehow not available, out of reach, or otherwise cannot be enjoyed by the public. That is patently false, we all know that."

    It's also not the point.

    The point is that copyright is a deal between the public and the content creators. The public gives them a real concession -- a limited term of state-backed monopoly use -- in exchange for the works eventually becoming the "property" of the public.

    The point is that content creators are themselves engaging in "theft" (using their own mistaken terminology) by reneging on the deal, and yet whine incessantly about the relatively insignificant "theft" by individual one-off copyright violators.

    I think the wahhhmbulance is more needed for the copyright absolutists.

    (shouldn't-be-needed disclaimers: I make my living creating "intellectual property" and do not condone or engage in copyright violations. I support a reasonable copyright system. On the other hand, I do consider copyright law as currently enacted in the US to be so misguided as to be immoral and harmful to society and to the creation of new works.)

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:45am

    > After all the studios and distributors keep telling me
    > "Own it on DVD today" not "LICENSE it on DVD today!"

    The Playstation 3's Playstation Network is even more ridiculous. In their movie section, they have a bunch of movies, typically _more_ expensive than in stores, that you can "own". Really? It is stuck on my Playstation, and I can't lend it or watch it on a plane or watch it at my friends. That's not my definition of "own".

     

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    Christopher (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:18am

    Oops, almost made it.

    "They are the law of the land, reviewed and past by your elected officials, doing their jobs."

    Almost a very good devil's advocation, except the 'doing their jobs' part. They aren't doing their jobs. They are doing work on behalf of the copyright holders, not the American public.

    -C

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re:

    "One of the the things that copyright opponents do is try to make it sound like these works are somehow not available, out of reach, or otherwise cannot be enjoyed by the public. That is patently false, we all know that."

    It's not false, the movies listed can, but what about the movies that have been lost to time? The original owner didn't want to do anything with them, no one else would due to fear of a lawsuit, and they were lost in history.

    "Copyright law has been amended a few times over it's history to allow for a longer copyright. There will never be enough votes in the house and senate in the US to undo these changes. They are the law of the land, reviewed and past by your elected officials, doing their jobs."

    You do realize you are admitting our politicians are corrupt right?

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Feeding the trolls...

    What really bothers me is that pretty much every law being passed now is for the "corporate "sponsors."" in an attempt to protect or create monopolies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    The corporations who stole their copyrights, most likely. If not corporations, then lazy good-for-nothing trust fund punks.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:26am

    Re:

    Copyright law has been amended a few times over it's history to allow for a longer copyright. There will never be enough votes in the house and senate in the US to undo these changes. They are the law of the land, reviewed and past by your elected officials, doing their jobs.

    "Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason." Ovid

    Well, we do dare!

     

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    Richard (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:45am

    "Own it on DVD today" not "LICENSE it on DVD today!"

    In the UK we have something called the trade descriptions act.

    I have often wondered whether it could be used to justify copying DVDs that were bought in response to such an advert.

    If they tell me I own it then surely I own it (the movie that is - not just the bit of plastic).

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Re:

    Also there will be no extensions with the current climate about those issues.

    I guess we will stand still forever then.

    Of course that is absurd at some point one side will loose its support, guess who has the majority and what those growing under those ridiculous laws think about it.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re:

    Very true, one thing IP-Maximalists love to parade is the fact that it is all for the creators, now if they is dead what he takes from it?

     

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    Rez (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Doing something

    I understand the point of the article is to raise awareness, however if you really feel this strongly about it why don't you write a congressman or senator (or both)? I'm sure I will get flamed for saying it but nothing will ever get done if you never actually petition the people in charge to do something about it. Also for those of you about to say 'yeah but why bother, they never listen' you really need to come to the realisation that nothing will get better if you have a defeatist attitude like that.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Feeding the trolls...

    Well the solution for that is to do what they do and that is write the laws we want.

    To do that we need a forum to discuss and create laws that is outside of the political sphere.

    I wonder when the first website "Write a law" will come online.

    We have the means, now is just a question of actually doing it.

    ps: On the plus side since politicians don't actually read legislation it is just a matter of handing it to them.

     

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  22.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    "One of the the things that copyright opponents do is try to make it sound like these works are somehow not available, out of reach, or otherwise cannot be enjoyed by the public. That is patently false, we all know that."

    No... what we "CR opponents" do is try to show how our Copyright system is doing the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do.


    "Copyright law has been amended a few times over it's history to allow for a longer copyright. "
    A "few" times... heh...
    Copyright Act of 1790 - established U.S. copyright with term of 14 years with 14-year renewal
    Copyright Act of 1831 - extended the term to 28 years with 14-year renewal
    Copyright Act of 1909 - extended term to 28 years with 28-year renewal
    Universal Copyright Convention - ratified by the U.S. in 1954, and again in 1971, this treaty was developed by UNESCO as an alternative to the Berne Convention
    Copyright Act of 1976 - extended term to either 75 years or life of author plus 50 years; extended federal copyright to unpublished works; preempted state copyright laws; codified much copyright doctrine that had originated in case law
    Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 - established copyrights of U.S. works in Berne Convention countries
    Copyright Renewal Act of 1992 - removed the requirement for renewal
    Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) of 1994 - restored U.S. copyright for certain foreign works
    Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 - extended terms to 95/120 years or life plus 70 years
    Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 - criminalized some cases of copyright infringement
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_copyright_law



    "There will never be enough votes in the house and senate in the US to undo these changes. They are the law of the land, reviewed and past by your elected officials, doing their jobs."
    Not sure what point you're making here except that the votes will never be pushed through. That's kind of an argument a copyright opponent would make about how those votes could never be purchased because the industries getting fat off the current system can pay higher than we opponents.


    "Desperate and whiny, one of the TD things that made it into 2011 unscathed."
    Along with ad hominim troll-attacks without actually supporting a position. You want to show how Copyright is a good thing, then show how society has been improved here.


    You're missing the entire point here. We don't want free copies of these works. What we want is for other artists and writers to be able to use these works to create new works based on them without worry about being sued. Did you read the post a few weeks ago about the sequel to The Catcher in the Rye? If that book was in the public domain, the sequel would be published uncontested here in the US. But instead of that, such works are disallowed and blocked; thereby reducing the enrichment of our collective society.

     

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  23.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Re:

    it's not a matter of being "out of reach" it's a matter of it not being free as it's supposed to be, so that people can build upon it and make better and/or new things. That is what public domain is for.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re:

    what about the movies that have been lost to time

    Can you show me anything from the last 30 years that is "lost to time"? The only things lost to time are much older movies and music that were recorded on stock that self destructs over time. Yes, there are losses, in the same manner perhaps that some historical buildings might burn down or be lost to a hurricane or tornado. We learn from the experiences, and move forward.

    These days, everything is kept in multiple copies. This is in part because of the value inparted by copyright, as rights holders want to have a product to sell, market, or license.

    no one else would due to fear of a lawsuit, and they were lost in history.

    I suspect that copies made, kept, and not distributed until copyright expired wouldn't provoke lawsuits. You forget also that the rights owner also has the right to destroy the work without punishment, it is their work. There is no obligation in copyright to maintain a film or audio recording until it reaches public domain. That isn't part of the contract.

    You do realize you are admitting our politicians are corrupt right?

    Not in the slightest. What part of writing, debating, and passing laws is corrupt, except how it is corrupt by human nature? If copyright was abolished tomorrow by an act of congress, would they be doing their jobs or just giving into some people who will vote for them in the next election?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:45am

    No, you are reading wrong it is there somewhere written "you got owned".

    Seriously, that is real theft, piracy is just payback.

    But I'm tired of payback, I want to move on to greener pastures, where the sun really shines and those a-holes are not there. They can go peddle their stuff to whatever schmuck they wish for because I'm not "buying" anything from them ever again.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:39am

    Re:

    Yes, they are not available and out of reach, because we should be able to "enjoy" them in ways other than passively listening/reading/watching them. Yet we can't.

    We should be able to modify them, and show others the result. Modernize them. Mix them with other works, or even with modern memes. Cut them into pieces and rearrange in a different order. Change the colors in a movie. Turn a play into an amateur movie. Combine the video of a movie with the soundtrack of a different movie. And several other possibilities we have not thought of. All this without having to ask for permission.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Feeding the trolls...

    Who's going to start this? I'd be very interested in it.
    I think people would indeed participate, but how long would it take for the shills to show up as well?

     

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  28.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:58am

    Re: 2000 Leagues

    Shouldn't that be 20,000?


    Yes, yes it should. Damn inflation.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Publishers bought the rights.
    But increasingly with media industries of all types, the only option they want to offer members of the public is a license to a copy.

    They want everyone else to be denied the rights of ownership that they enjoy.
    The law supports this behavior, perhaps because the industry pays its "licensing fees" at every election cycle.

     

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  30.  
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    Another User, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Many of the original Dr. Who. They where lost due to being stored on a shelf and forgotten about and damaged over time. Several of the episodes they where able to recover was only because some where illegally copied.

     

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  31.  
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    Another User, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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  32.  
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    Rich, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So, the only works worth preserving occurred within the last 30 years???

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    A misleading question. See, the content creators sold their rights (or assigned them to others) and profited from those rights when they were alive. If they maintained the rights themselves, they profit for the ability to pass them on to a future generation. While they may not be alive to enjoy the fruits of their labors, it is no different from your grand parents dying and leaving you a million dollars. Will you turn it down because it was only their money to spend?

     

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  34.  
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    Rich, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not only that, but the BBC recorded over several episodes to reuse the tapes.

     

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  35.  
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    Snidely, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:14am

    Playing their game

    The copyright minimalists should take a page from the PR campaign of the content industry and re-brand copyright extension as "theft of public goods". That way, every time some in the pocket of industry Congressman goes on about copyright, someone else can get up and accuse him of supporting theft from the public. Big Content was able to get copyright infringement changed to theft. Why can't we get copyright extension changed to theft as well? Each one is equally ridiculous.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:17am

    Re: Doing something

    I'd like to see Masnick address this question himself, although I suspect the answer would be something along the lines of--
    Given the extreme partisan environment in the US, if TD gets too involved with hands-on political lobbying, TD will end up getting side-tracked by those who would seek to make this a partisan issue, when in fact it is not a partisan issue. Both parties are culpable.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:18am

    How come nobody proposed a... retroactive law to forbid retro-action on new IP laws ?

     

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  38.  
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    Christopher (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re:

    Good point. It's about time that we had a serious discussion about limiting copyright to, at most, 5 years on almost everything. After that point, if your work is any good, you have gotten the money that you should have gotten on the thing in question therefore there is no problem with your work falling into the public domain.

     

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  39.  
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    Christopher (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:24am

    Re:

    Because, we already have that. There is a section in the Constitution that says that there will be NO retro-active laws made to criminalize or change laws from years ago which works or people fell under, whether the things in question are crimes or not.

    People forget that salient fact and are all too willing to allow government to pass retroactive laws today.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Fail analogy.

    Still fail, but better than yours.

    It's more like your parents leaving £1 million to you in a trust fund. However, the laws at the time state that should the £1 million go unclaimed after X years it is given to public causes. No one claims the money, the banks then lobby for new laws which state they get the £1 million no matter what.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:30am

    Re: Playing their game

    Phrases to use:
    "theft of public goods"
    "government enforced monopoly"
    "the copyright privilege"
    "privilege holders"
    "intellectual privilege"

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    just to add:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Movies

    though i suppose you could argue that technology would have still been too immature to save these had they gone public domain even at the moment they were created.

    but, still it is a good article about what has been lost, and works as an example of why we should be promoting that new things be preserved. (something that copyright works against in certain cases)

     

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  43.  
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    Spointman, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Re: Doing something

    The problem is that unless that letter has a check for several tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars attached, you'd get (at best) a form letter in response saying "Thanks for your feedback, you're valued, you're precious to us, etc." And I guarantee you, absolutely nothing substantive would be done.

    To get action from a Senator or Congressman, you have to convince them that one of two things is about to occur:

    1) They will get paid in some fashion (campaign contributions, a job offer after their term is up, a donation to their pet charity, etc. -- all perfectly legal)

    2) They will get voted out if they don't act on your request. This has to be convincing. Plenty of media to back you up, lots of rallies, political opponents making it a talking point about why you don't do this, etc. A petition with a few hundred votes won't cut it, let alone one letter from one person.

    Cynical of me? Probably. But prove me wrong.

     

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    droslovinia (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:01am

    Some clarification

    Given as how Tolkien was never a US citizen, how is the US keeping us from his work, exactly? And what about Kurosawa? Are these just the US copyrights on works that are otherwise available in their countries of origin, or some part of a deal where we keep works from other countries unavailable? If I'm walking the streets of London and want to grab a copy of Tolkien, how exactly is US law supposed to stop me?

     

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  45.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Re: Some clarification

    Same thing as the Catcher in the Rye sequel. It could be written (subject to the CR laws in the author's country), but it would be blocked from publication and release here in the US.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You may want to real The Long Tail to understand that this is just not true.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, the point is that technology has reached a point where the long term retention of these works isn't dependent on a film stock that turns into a bomb over time (nitrate film), or that is easily destroyed by water. It is also important that the storage of these works in digital format means no loss of color, clarity, or the like over time, the digital version looked at 40 years from now will be as good as it was today.

    Finally, it is important that this digital storage can be done economically, in restricted space, and duplcate copies can easily be kept in remote locations without concern for physical constraints. We also have multiple digital platforms that can be used for media backup, which means that rights holders can choose to archive their material on tape, on disc, on hard drives, or on optical media, or even better can do so on each of those medias to assure long life and recoverablity.

    We can never cover for human error (such as that BBC situation discussed above), but as the choices for backup become more widespread, the more likely it is that the materials will survive for a very long time indeed.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:13am

    "Copyright defenders love to claim that infringement is a form of "theft." Yet, they never seem troubled by the idea that copyright extensions like this have clearly taken away the public's clearly stated rights to make use of these works under the deal that was made with those content creators at the time those works were officially published."

    C'mon now. Plenty of "copyright defenders" also think that retroactive extensions of copyright are a bad idea and/or that copyright terms are too long in their current state.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So it is not really about creators at all and how the poor things will survive right?

    It is about commerce that keeps robbing society of its dues.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Re:

    Really?

    Because what I see is just people paying lip service to that what enjoying a century or more of a monopoly.

     

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  51.  
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    Not an electronic Rodent, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Can you show me anything from the last 30 years that is "lost to time"?
    Artful at best. The point is that the main "loss to time" is in works that never get created because of possible copyright infrigement and you know full well that it is all but impossible to demonstrate a negative. If I were more cynical I'd suspect that's why you asked that question... oh.. wait...
    These days, everything is kept in multiple copies. This is in part because of the value inparted by copyright
    You're suggesting that copyright is directly responsible for things not being lost? I suppose that may be in some very small way possible, but overwhelmingly larger to the tune of thousands of percentage points different is the ease and low (~zero) cost of doing so. After all what copyright holders complain about most is the number of copies that are made without cost or charge. If copyright were abolished I think you'd find the number of available copies of works would go down by considerably less that 1%.
    I suspect that copies made, kept, and not distributed until copyright expired wouldn't provoke lawsuits.
    Do you indeed? I on the other hand suspect that if I were to make a film based on something currently copyright Disney and wait 'til their rights expired to release it(if indeed such a thing ever happens), their very expensive lawyers will find a way to sue me for millions of dollars because it was "created while copyright was in force" or some such bull. Neither of us can prove such a thing and I suspect many others wouldn't take the chance of me being right.
    would they be doing their jobs or just giving into some people who will vote for them in the next election?
    If it happens as you suggest then they would be doing their jobs of course. I seem to remember your consitution says something about "government by the people, for the people." In your republic this means that elected officials make decisions in order to fulfil the will of the electorate who then register their liking by voting. I don't recall the rubbed out bits that said "government by the people, [only] for the people [with most money to pay the elected officials].". You knew that... right?

     

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  52.  
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    Not an electronic Rodent, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    While they may not be alive to enjoy the fruits of their labors, it is no different from your grand parents dying and leaving you a million dollars.
    A misleading analogy. No it's not like inheriting money. When you inherit a million dollars you get actual money that actually belonged to people that actually owned that money. When you inherit "rights" what you are inheriting is a promise that everyone ELSE will give you a million dollars without you doing anything at all.

     

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  53.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Can you show me anything from the last 30 years that is "lost to time"?"

    You've already been told about the Dr Who episodes that were lost because someone didn't see the "value" in them. I know that a show called Genesis II would have probably been lost if not for one crafty internet pirate.

    "These days, everything is kept in multiple copies."

    No, these days we keep everything that instantly makes money. The stuff that would take time to create a following gets destroyed (AKA Dr. Who). The copies are not there thanks to copyright (not even in part) but thanks to the stacks and stacks of money people are willing to pay for them (no copyright needed).

    "I suspect that copies made, kept, and not distributed until copyright expired wouldn't provoke lawsuits."

    Talk to the RIAA about that.

    "You forget also that the rights owner also has the right to destroy the work without punishment, it is their work"

    Not saying he does (moral obligation, just not legal). I am saying that if someone else finds value they should not be limited in their desire to preserve it.

    It doesn't take actual legal recourse to limit creativity, it only takes threat of legal recourse. That's the part you people aren't getting. Fear is a powerful thing and current copyright laws are written to create fear. Where's the boundary? Where am I in the right and where am I in the wrong? How do I know this person won't sue me for something that is fair use where this other person did?

    "Not in the slightest. What part of writing, debating, and passing laws is corrupt, except how it is corrupt by human nature?"

    You said the law will never be revoked because the politicians are doing their jobs, but their jobs are to do what's right for their citizens. Lesser copyright is right for their citizens, if that is not followed threw then they are not doing their jobs.

    I would like to reiterate one of my points. In this time of insane copyright it's a scary place to tread. One does not have to step on the landmine to be afraid of it, one just has to see someone else who did.

     

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  54.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Re:

    Folks, we shouldn't be 'reporting' posts that merely disagree with us. Save it for spam.

     

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  55.  
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    abc gum, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:51am

    It's good to see that people who have passed away are still provided, via copyright, the incentive to create additional works. Without this most valuable legislation, our culture would surely slide into oblivion.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sure the studios, labels and book publishers will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain datacenters for old stuff.

     

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  57.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    While they may not be alive to enjoy the fruits of their labors, it is no different from your grand parents dying and leaving you a million dollars.

    I suspected someone would recite this lame analogy.

    No, it's not like inheriting money. It's like scamming the government so you can cash your parents' Social Security checks long after they're in the ground.

    And it is a total mystery how that helps "promote the progress," or acts as an incentive for authors to create new works.

     

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  58.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re:

    Glad someone else said something. I wasn't sure if I wanted to bring it up. :( I dislike that tactic.

     

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  59.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, the point is that technology has reached a point where the long term retention of these works isn't dependent on a film stock that turns into a bomb over time (nitrate film), or that is easily destroyed by water.

    but even these could have been preserved if it had been legal for anyone to make copies.

    We also have multiple digital platforms that can be used for media backup, which means that rights holders can choose to archive their material on tape, on disc, on hard drives, or on optical media, or even better can do so on each of those medias to assure long life and recoverablity.

    Assuming that these rights holders choose to bother at all - which is the point.

    The BBC case that you mention was not an error it was policy At the time the BBC did not value these episodes as much as the fans did.

    Similarly RCA chose to use their 78rpm masters as hardcore for a new building in the 60's.

    What you are missing is that is quite common that rights holders (esp. large corporate ones) actually want the old works destroyed - so that they do not compete with new works.

     

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  60.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    One of the the things that copyright opponents do is try to make it sound like these works are somehow not available, out of reach, or otherwise cannot be enjoyed by the public.

    One of the things that copyright maximalists do is try to make it sound like these works are somehow not available, out of reach, or otherwise cannot be monetized by the original artists. That is patently false, we all know that.

    If what the public gains isn't that important, then the copyright holders can't complain when they lose it, either.

     

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  61.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re: Doing something

    I have written my congressmen and senators several times, signed online petitions, etc.

    So far it hasn't had much effect. I guess I just can't compete with an industry that spent $6 million in lobbying last year.

     

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  62.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:26am

    An artist's perspective

     

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  63.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Playing their game

    The correct term to use for copyright is a "(monopoly) concession".

    If you look at the legal language used in setting up the terms of the channel tunnel project you will find that word used - and the manner of its use is exactly analogous to copyright.
    "The Channel Tunnel is a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) project with a concession.[21] TML would design and build the tunnel, but financing was through a separate legal entity: Eurotunnel. Eurotunnel absorbed CTG/F-M and signed a construction contract with TML; however, the British and French governments controlled final engineering and safety decisions, which are now in the hands of the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority. The British and French governments gave Eurotunnel a 55- (later 65-) year operating concession to repay loans and pay dividends. A Railway Usage Agreement was signed between Eurotunnel, British Rail and the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français guaranteeing future revenue in exchange for the railways obtaining half of the tunnel's capacity."

    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Tunnel

     

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  64.  
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    Not an electronic Rodent, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    OK give you that one... much more succinct than my "everyone else paying" correction :-)

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re: Oops, almost made it.

    "Almost a very good devil's advocation, except the 'doing their jobs' part. They aren't doing their jobs. They are doing work on behalf of the copyright holders, not the American public."

    Awww, but corporations are people too! They are special people. They are like illegal immigrants getting all the white tax payer benefits white people bitch about but are white and are just handed tax payer money.


    Damn if I ever run for office I'd be a billionaire in a month!!! good gig

     

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  66.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    Plenty of "copyright defenders" also think that retroactive extensions of copyright are a bad idea and/or that copyright terms are too long in their current state.

    Actually, that's true. I'm not a copyright abolitionist, for example. Neither is Larry Lessig, Creative Commons, or most of the open source/free software proponents.

    The more accurate phrase is "copyright maximalist."

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re:

    What we want is for other artists and writers to be able to use these works to create new works based on them without worry about being sued.

    Yes I read it, and I agree with the courts. The new book would not exist nor would have been created without TCITR exisitng to start with. It isn't inspired by, it is copied from, and that is a huge difference. Those who hold the rights are the ones who get to say yes or no on that sort of thing until copyright expires.

    The work does little to advance anything other than the author's greed to profit from an existing work. His singular lack of creativity in the matter is very obvious.

    As for you lists of changes, please consider the difference between changes in the laws and adjustment made to meet treaty agreements. There has been 1 law and 4 adjustments in 220 years, which isn't very often. In that time frame hundreds of thousands of works have fallen into the public domain.

    There is another reality you have to accept: The US is becoming more and more of a IP and service related economy. The US doesn't do much heavy manufacturing anymore, that is done offshore where labor is cheap. Copyright is, in many ways, to protect what it is that the US produces. Like many things the government trades away your short term gain of being legally able to copy 5 year old movies in return for stronger defence of the nations products. It might not satisfy your little world, but the government has to look at things overall, not just working to get you your binky so you feel better.

     

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  68.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    You'd better watch that sarcastic tone or zombie Keith Richards will come get you...I'm being told he's not really a zombie. Touche.

     

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  69.  
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    Karl (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    OK give you that one...

    In the spirit of the day, I hereby declare it in the public domain. Feel free to take it.

     

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  70.  
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    coldbrew, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: It's ALL mine now

    Talk about whiners, getting a binky, and appeal to authority all you want. I consider this now to be blanket permission to fill my 2 new 2TB drives and seed them profusely. Not a damn thing you can do about it without stomping on the US Constitution. In short, go fuck yourself.

    [Sorry to all the level headed folks here.]

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Technology - and the ever "corruptable" human nature - restores the bargain broken by overlong copyright, dead men earning for corps they've never met, and the sanctioned theft of the public domain...

    Break a deal, face the wheel - gulag!

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Great point - just having to respond to a legal threat is enough to intimidate people into submission or silence.

    "You forget also that the rights owner also has the right to destroy the work without punishment, it is their work. There is no obligation in copyright to maintain a film or audio recording until it reaches public domain. That isn't part of the contract."

    They can destroy all they have, but they daren't come into my house and destroy all *I* have. You put it out there, you sell copies, you're done with dictating. That IS part of the contract, called First Sale Doctrine.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:45am

    From all indications (that I am aware of at least ), when you buy a DVD, you DO own that copy-just not the right to make other copies. It is COMPUTER SOFTWARE that is the real problem -so far the "license" interpretation has been allowed in THOSE cases and THAT is thing problem we must fight (I am not aware of Time Warner claiming they only license a physical DVD to you (though I am sure downloads are different)

     

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  74.  
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    Colin, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The work does little to advance anything other than the author's greed to profit from an existing work. His singular lack of creativity in the matter is very obvious.

    But can't the same be said about companies who want to keep cashing in on works from 70 years ago, often times after the original creator isn't even around anymore to benefit?

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe the numbers are wrong (five years is probably not enough) but are you really saying that the current length of copyright is just right to you?

     

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  76.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Good point. It's about time that we had a serious discussion about limiting copyright to, at most, 5 years on almost everything."

    Why five years? If you're going to argue for five years then why not ten or twenty?

     

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  77.  
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    Mudlock, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re:

    You can't prosecute people for actions that weren't crimes when they happened.

    But that has little to do with retroactive changes to the terms of copyright.

    If you had copied a work which was, at the time, public domain, and then the terms were extended retroactively such that the work was no longer public domain, and THEN you were prosecuted under the terms of that new law, THAT would be unconstitutional.

    But CTEA only effected works that had not yet become public domain, precisely to avoid these sorts of problems, so that situation couldn't possibly happen.

    That said... just because something is constitutional, doesn't mean it's a good idea.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah, but if they have their way, you won't have a copy on the premises. The only thing you will have is a monthly bill for streaming access. No right or ability to save the media will be allowed.
    Or -- if you do have a copy, they will have the right to reach into your device and delete it at their pleasure.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re:

    That is pretty much my point.

     

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  80.  
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    Mudlock, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Some clarification

    International treaties, mostly.

    But if you grab a book that's public domain in a foreign country, and then bring it the US where it's still under copyright, at the very least I'd advise against trying to sell it.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    Can anyone explain why this comment was "flagged by the community?"

    Are people really flagging comments that just oppose the conventional TD groupthink...er, wisdom?

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My 4-greats grandfather served in the Revolutionary War and became a disabled veteran. He collected disability payments years later.

    I think I should continue to collect those checks in recognition of the outstanding service he provided.
    -- After all, he worked hard helping found our country, and all that...

     

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  83.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    i figure 'five years from date of first publication, provided it is actually in print and available. terminated six months after it goes out of print if it does so before those five years are up'

    on the basis that if it's out of print they're not getting anything out of it Anyway... consider it a 'dog in the manger' clause. the six months is so they can organise it being published elsewhere if it was an issue with the publisher.

    similar deal with patents: if you're not Doing anything with it it should go away. ('doing something with it' does include licensing someone else to actually do something with it, mind you).

    trademarks are, of course, an entirely different thing.

     

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  84.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Yes I read it, and I agree with the courts. The new book would not exist nor would have been created without TCITR exisitng to start with. It isn't inspired by, it is copied from, and that is a huge difference. Those who hold the rights are the ones who get to say yes or no on that sort of thing until copyright expires."
    I'm not arguing who has which rights... I know the copyright holders have the rights to decide who copies what... that's the whole meaning of the word. What I'm arguing is that copyright no longer does what it was originally intended to because it has been relegated to a welfare system to fund those who hold the copyrights- often times, not even the people who created the work. And you still haven't addressed my point that copyright is stifling creativity by holding up the material that could be used to create new material. You can call it derivative all you want... but the fact is that the story of TCITR is done... someone else said "hey, let's tell a bit more story here". That's creating a richer tapestry in the world of TCITR.


    "As for you lists of changes, please consider the difference between changes in the laws and adjustment made to meet treaty agreements. There has been 1 law and 4 adjustments in 220 years, which isn't very often. In that time frame hundreds of thousands of works have fallen into the public domain."
    And almost every one of those changes has been to extend copyright. We haven't addressed copyright's intention, purpose, usefulness, effectiveness in light of changing environment or technology... we've made the period that owners of CR can keep milking it for money get longer.


    "There is another reality you have to accept: The US is becoming more and more of a IP and service related economy. The US doesn't do much heavy manufacturing anymore, that is done offshore where labor is cheap. Copyright is, in many ways, to protect what it is that the US produces. Like many things the government trades away your short term gain of being legally able to copy 5 year old movies in return for stronger defence of the nation’s products. It might not satisfy your little world, but the government has to look at things overall, not just working to get you your binky so you feel better."
    I don't have to accept any reality... If I see something that I disagree with, it's my given right and freedom (and, in my opinion, responsibility) to effect change. Just saying "oops... that's the way it is. Oh well..." is about as mindlessly-conformist as you can get. That's why terms like "sheeple" came to be.

    And CR is to protect America's "produce"? Sounds like how CR is being used to shore up the recording industry's failing business model. Weak argument there. If America is falling behind in contributing to the world, maybe we need to come up with a better strategy to contribution.

    But you're wrong... they're not protecting some kind of produce here... they're protecting their ability to make money off of it. And who are they defending against? Their own people? Are they protecting us from ourselves here? Sorry, but you're argument doesn't really hold up here.

    And if you're going to turn to ad hominim attacks, you might want to at least directly insult people. When you imply it like with the 'binky' comment, it makes you look childish and snipey.

     

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  85.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Or, even better, I'll buy that right from you so I can continue earning that money. I know I didn't do anything to contribute to it, but hey, if I pay good money for the rights...

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    > Yes I read it, and I agree with the courts. The new book would not exist nor would have been created without TCITR exisitng to start with

    Lots of works would not have existed without that which came before them, and yet are allowed. Your statement is meaningless.

    > It isn't inspired by, it is copied from, and that is a huge difference.

    This is factually incorrect. It was clearly inspired by, and not "copied." No text is copied at all. When you make stuff up, it makes it difficult to take you seriously.

    > As for you lists of changes, please consider the difference between changes in the laws and adjustment made to meet treaty agreements. There has been 1 law and 4 adjustments in 220 years, which isn't very often.

    This is also factually incorrect. There were new laws in 1909 and 1976. Claiming there was "1 law" is factually wrong.

    You clearly don't know what you're talking about.

    > The US doesn't do much heavy manufacturing anymore

    Once again, factually incorrect. The US is the largest manufacturer in the world. Yes, it manufacturers more than China. Why make stuff up? To further an agenda based on lies?

    > Copyright is, in many ways, to protect what it is that the US produces

    And as anyone who understands the first thing about economics knows, 'protectionism' doesn't work, but actually shrinks markets and does economic harm to those it aims to 'protect.'

    You appear to have absolutely no knowledge of any of these subjects.

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and in many instances they want old works destroyed for political reasons, such as to hide a history that many disagreed with. One example is some of Babies earlier days and how Barbie sued for infringement over people who have pointed out certain things about Barbies history that Mattel wants to cover up (ie: Barbie the cigarette model mentioned in No-Logo by Naomi Klein under the section entitled Copyright Bullies in Chapter eight, which is definitely worth reading because it gives example after example of IP being used to censor things like this). Another example is this

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101005/12204511290/why-won-t-universal-music-let-you-see- the-20-20-report-from-1980-about-how-the-music-industry-is-dying.shtml

    and there are more examples of videos being removed for similar reasons. Another example was this video

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatta_Mari

    That video, or at least parts of it, was removed for political reasons using copy'right' as a pretext. Allowing videos to be removed for political reasons using copy protection laws as a pretext is unacceptable and it distorts our history. A description of why (at least parts of) that video was removed could be found here

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100727/15403110387.shtml

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    First sale is starting to get chipped away by IP maximists as well.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100912/12212110968.shtml

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    CULTURE HARD!!!

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh poor little baby! Why don't you just call the wahhhmbulance?

    See. Annoying isn't it.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re:

    CHT is right. Hiding a comment, even if you don't like what was said, gets in the way of the conversation.
    If you don't agree with a comment, then reply with facts and logic.
    If you look like you can't bear to hear an argument, then it makes you look as if you might not have a good counter-argument.

     

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  92.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you had copied a work which was, at the time, public domain, and then the terms were extended retroactively such that the work was no longer public domain, and THEN you were prosecuted under the terms of that new law, THAT would be unconstitutional.

    Where in the constitution does it allow congress to extend extant copyrights?

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 6:27pm

    Incentives for creation beyond the grave

    It still seems weird to me that the policy goal of copyright is incenting creation, but this goal implemented by giving rights to people dead for more than half a century. Extending rights many years after the death of the creator is just bizarre. I can't think of ANY creative works that have come from dead people.

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Incentives for creation beyond the grave

    Why do you hate zombie artists and their works so much?

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re: Incentives for creation beyond the grave

    Why do you hate zombie artists and their works so much?

    http://www.amazon.com/Pride-Prejudice-Zombies-Classic-Ultraviolent/dp/1594743347

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't see anything that tells why that video was
    removed on teh link you provided

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Incentives for creation beyond the grave

    The dead body of Jane Austen should sue!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, maybe I didn't explain it very well.

    I found it here.

    http://www.vbox7.com/play:6c4c51fa

    A little bit of background.

    The U.S. government worked with Warner Brothers (and others) to create this (and other) videos. Much of it is propaganda and the intended audience members were adults (back then people didn't have color televisions in their houses, they went to, often late night, cinemas to watch these programs and left the children at home).

    In the video Plane Daffy ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plane_Daffy ) various characters reveal state secrets to Hatta Mari. Back then it was common for videos to contain "spies" with accents that are intended to depict specific racial groups, implying that people from these racial groups can't be trusted. This video is no exception (ie: with Hatta Mari's accent) and years later people started pointing out this common tendency for villains to be portrayed as having specific accents depicting specific racial groups. When this video was put on youtube people started using it to point out the propaganda that this video depicts (not to mention how these sorts of videos were used as propaganda to justify putting people, like Japanese citizens, in containment camps, as if Japanese citizens could somehow magically acquire state secrets by simply living somewhere in the U.S.) and Warner Brothers wasn't too happy about people using this video to point out its discriminatory past and how its videos it were designed to promote political propaganda and so they demanded that this video be removed from Youtube and so it was.

     

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    gpolk50 (profile), Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 11:57pm

    Always appreciate a good Samuel Beckett reference. Sounds like Mr. Masnick was an English Major.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 12:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I would agree that 5 years is way too short. Some movies, for example, fail to find their feet until a DVD release a few years later, while a band may find a lot of increased royalties from their early CDs when they have a larger hit a few years later. If it was that short, I'd also expect people to lose out on real potential income as well - e.g. a movie studio interested in licensing a book would just wait 5 years to make the movie rather than pay the original author.

    I'm more of the mindset that 15-20 years is best, with the option for the original artist (not corporations or descendants) to renew after that, every 15-20 years until death. That removes the problem of orphaned works (everything would become public domain if not renewed), and stops the corporatisation of art, while ensuring that the original author can retain rights for as long as he wishes until after death.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 12:35am

    Re:

    You've been replied to a lot already, but I might as well dive in (damn timezones stopping me from commenting first!)

    "One of the the things that copyright opponents do is try to make it sound like these works are somehow not available, out of reach, or otherwise cannot be enjoyed by the public. That is patently false, we all know that."

    First of all, your claim is patently false. Look up orphaned works, for a start. There's plenty of material from 1954 and before that isn't being released to the public, either because there's no perceived commercial demand for it or because nobody knows who the copyright owners are.

    While copyright is still being enforced on these items, they cannot be legally released. In the cases of older works that have not been digitised, only those in possession of physical copies can access them. Therefore, they are "not available, out of reach, or otherwise cannot be enjoyed by the public". Were the works to enter public domain, anybody with access to a copy could release it, and thus it would become available again. Rear Windows and Seven Samurai would still attract a premium from those wanting the Criterion version, but lesser know works that haven't been seen since 1954 would become available as well.

    "Copyright law has been amended a few times over it's history to allow for a longer copyright. There will never be enough votes in the house and senate in the US to undo these changes. They are the law of the land, reviewed and past by your elected officials, doing their jobs."

    This time, look up lobbyists, and their role in creating this situation. Then consider that the people elected into positions of power are rarely elected on their stances on copyright, but rather on more general economic and social platforms. So, the electorate are often not making their views known on copyright alone by their votes, and senators have a habit of listening to paid industry shills rather than the masses with things like this.

    It's not a good situation, and those complaining are those whose views have been ignored.

    "Desperate and whiny, one of the AC things that made it into 2011 unscathed."

    Edited for accuracy.

     

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    mikeinrichmond (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 3:28am

    Thank you for pointing this out, because I thought this was pretty automatic. Sorry to see it's not. Hopefully the new Congress will provide relief.

     

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    Chargone (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 4:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    well, if you consider that the whole point is to get them to keep making more stuff, then making it longer just reduces it's effectiveness because it's that much longer they can collect on a single work.

    i do somewhat see your point regarding the movie... but on the other hand, how does it matter? so they wait five years. big whoop? then the movie has it's own five year bit. the movie is not the author writing more books, is it?

    as for: "Some movies, for example, fail to find their feet until a DVD release a few years later," why the hell does it take them a few YEARS to release the dvd? that's windowing (already a driving force behind piracy). something we'd like to Discourage. the answer to this particular objection is: don't wait years to release the DVD. use it or lose it. if you're waiting around, you're not using it.

    anyway, if the movie studio is willing to actually plan five years ahead and put off the income Now, then that's actual semi-long term planning. something we'd LOVE to encourage in corporations who, it seems, rarely plan past a 4th of a year in most cases.

    potential income is hardly Real, anyway. it's 'what i might get if i actually did the thing'. if it takes more than five years to turn potential income into actual income then a large part of that is because you didn't actually Do it.

    what professions allow one to continuously reap the financial rewards, with no further action, of one set of effort? so far as i can tell it amounts to 'the creation of copyrightable things' and 'investing'.

    this explains much...

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I see what you're saying, but the problem with 5 years is that it wouldn't give some people enough time to recoup their investment. For example:

    "why the hell does it take them a few YEARS to release the dvd?"

    Distribution, mostly. The movie-making process takes several different steps, with the average movie taking around 2 years from original conception to final cut. Depending on where you start the copyright process (first festival screening?), the movie may be around for a couple of years before it finds distribution (Paranormal Activity took over 2 years, for example). Some movies can spend years on the festival circuit before they can find distribution and start making money, and even then only via very limited release numbers.

    Not every movie is an instant hit, so it can take a couple of years to recoup investment through theatrical screenings, DVD, streaming, TV licensing, etc. This can take longer than 5 years, and so under your suggestion some movies would be public domain before they've been able to recoup investment. If you've just spent 2-5 years working on a movie only to have it removed from you before you've been paid, that removes the incentive for creating more.

    Ironically, the 5 year plan would hit independent film-makers the hardest, as they're the ones with distribution difficulties, while benefiting the major studios (who already have distribution before the film is even made). Unless you want every movie to be a cookie-cutter, lowest-common-denominator piece of trash, this is a bad idea.

    I agree that the distribution process needs a lot of work to come into the 21st century, but this would kill a lot of interesting movies right now.

    "anyway, if the movie studio is willing to actually plan five years ahead and put off the income Now, then that's actual semi-long term planning. something we'd LOVE to encourage in corporations who, it seems, rarely plan past a 4th of a year in most cases"

    I'd generally agree here, but even the big Hollywood blockbusters that depend on making most of their money in the opening weekend are often in pre-production 2 years before their release dates. For example, it took 4 years from the publication of the first Harry Potter novel to the release of the first movie. Do you honestly think they wouldn't have waited an extra year if it meant not having to give Rowling a cut, and that was a well-known and successful author. Imagine what they'd do to a relative unknown if they had the chance, especially if it took more than a couple of years for the original book to become successful enough to warrant a movie in the first place.

    "if it takes more than five years to turn potential income into actual income then a large part of that is because you didn't actually Do it"

    I don't normally defend the industry, but you're wrong, at least in the current way things are done. There's a lot of room for improvement, but I'd say that 10-15 years minimum is needed right now.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 5:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I would agree that 5 years is way too short. Some movies, for example, fail to find their feet until a DVD release a few years later, while a band may find a lot of increased royalties from their early CDs when they have a larger hit a few years later."
    I disagree with the logic here. By this argument, the copyright system would be a protection from unpopularity. If I make a movie that doesn't recoup cost for 5 years then either a) I made a bad movie that no one likes or b) I spent too much making it. While those are risks of shooting movies, why is the copyright system supposed to help protect against that risk? That's far far outside its intended purpose.
    And on the music premise: no. First, same thing as the movies... copyright is not supposed to protect me from being unpopular. If a band releases their first album and it bombs, but the second album gets them some major fan base, there's no guarantee that people are suddenly going to buy the first one. Additionally, we've discussed ad nauseam that album sales are NOT the key to artists making money - even those who self-distribute. So even if the CR system was supposed to protect their income, it would be doing it the wrong way.

     

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    Rich, Jan 4th, 2011 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, studies have shown that we are losing far more works in this digital world than ever before. Digital works are NOT being preserved and are being lost at an alarming rate, and the only way to preserve them is to BREAK THE LAW.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 6:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'll comment on the movie side of things here, as that's the industry I see being most negatively affected by a drastically short copyright period:

    "If I make a movie that doesn't recoup cost for 5 years then either a) I made a bad movie that no one likes or b) I spent too much making it."

    Try talking to some independent film-makers. You'd be amazed at how long it can take to produce a movie, and even more amazed at how the current system gets in their way of distributing them. Even established indies can have a hell of a time getting a release under the current system, especially on an international level (every distributor tries to calve the world up to its own advantage).

    Besides, you pose the familiar false dichotomy. There are such things as great pieces of cinema that take a long time to find their audience, and that's not always the fault of the film-maker. The state of the market at the time, bad timing with a release, a producer who decides to screw you over, a ban or heavy censorship in certain territories, etc. can stop you from making a quick profit.

    To give a relatively recent example, look at Donnie Darko. From what I can see, it had a production budget of around $4.5 million (definitely not excessive), but only made $1.2 million at the US box office. A flop. But, it gained word of mouth and was much more successful on its UK release - $1.7 million (very good for an indie UK release). Further word of mouth led to a successful DVD release (1.1 million copies in the UK alone!), and it has garnered further success via a director's cut DVD, a sequel, and a soundtrack (a track from which hit #1 in the UK singles chart).

    So, what are the timescales here? According to IMDB, it debuted at Sundance on 19th January 2001 but didn't get its UK release until 25th October 2002 - over 18 months, even if you count the copyright date as its first festival screening (more likely , it would be copyrighted in 2000). I don't have a UK DVD release date, but the director's cut was released theatrically in 2004, and it makes sense to assume that the film's sudden financial success led to this release.

    So, it took at least 3 years for a film that became a massive cult hit and fan favourite with a #1 chart single to recoup its costs - and that's if you count the first Sundance screening as the date of copyright (which it may not be!). If the film had been less instantly successful in the UK, it may have been more than 5 years before it because as successful as it was and thus public domain, discouraging any investment in Kelly's future projects. Right now, you can argue about whether that was a good thing, of course. Either way, it was a critical and commercially successful hit, but it took some time to get there despite its advantages.

    "That's far far outside its intended purpose."

    Not really. The intended purpose is to make more movies. Unlike, say, music and books, movies take a massive investment. It's hard enough under the current system to get a movie funded, let alone if you're trying to make a product that will go public domain in 5 years. 15 years? Perhaps not so bad.

    While the current copyright system is truly broken, I think this 5 year proposal would a step way too far in the other direction. The distribution process needs a lot of work before a 5 year proposal would be realistically feasible.

     

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    Not an electronic Rodent, Jan 4th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's hard enough under the current system to get a movie funded, let alone if you're trying to make a product that will go public domain in 5 years.
    While I'm not certain I disagree with you in that particular case and there's debate to be had about the right number in each case, doesn't that point more to a broken system propped up by the massively overblown copyright laws?
    Is it not at least as possible if not more so that if (in the wonderful world of fantasy) copyright was suddenly reduced to 5 years that initially some studios would go under, but what would emerge from the "wreckage" would be a leaner, meaner film industy actually capable of producing something profitable in those kind of timescales?
    You say that would result in "cookie cutter" projects but looking at the product of Hollywood in particular and the amount of "cookie cutter" dross already there, I'm not entirely certain that cutting the "training wheels" support wouldn't result in less formulaic projects as capturing the public's interest would be paramount to survive in such an environment.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    -- Seems well thought out, Paul.

    On this site, we hear from copyright maximalists, copyright minimalists, and a few copyright abolitionists .
    How about a new term copyright sensiblists.

     

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    hxa7241, Jan 4th, 2011 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > If it was that short, I'd also expect people to lose out on real potential income as well - e.g. a movie studio interested in licensing a book would just wait 5 years to make the movie rather than pay the original author.

    But that is not the purpose of copyright. It is not intended to ensure authors make as much money as 'potentially' possible.

    The purpose of copyright is to help authors cover the costs of production. If five years is sufficient for that, then authors will see it is economically viable to produce, and the job will have been done. If movie studios want to wait that out so their costs are lower, so much the better for them, and, assuming that saving is somewhat passed on in prices, so much the better for us too.

    That is the gist of it. More widely it is very suspect of course, but we should at least be fairly clear about the basic proposition.


    > I'm more of the mindset that 15-20 years is best, with the option ... to renew after that, every 15-20 years until death

    Where is the evidence to show that is economically sensible?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "doesn't that point more to a broken system propped up by the massively overblown copyright laws"

    Yes and no. The original creation of copyright was due to artists getting ripped off the second they released something. While we're mostly complaining about overbearing copyright here, there is such a thing as too little.

    Besides, for most industries I'd agree with you. The problem with movies is that most "blockbusters" already operate on a 5 year timescale,and thus skew the overall medium.

    For example, Transformers 3 was announced almost as soon as the second movie came out in 2009, and already has a July 2011 release date. It will be heavily marketed to try and get as much money as possible up front, and they will most likely be well in profit by the time the late 2011/early 2012 DVD release has left the new releases section. Even if it falls short of the second movie's $830 million theatrical gross, that leaves them a couple of years to make up the difference via PPV, streaming, rentals, licensing, merchandising, etc.

    Compare that to an independent movie. They have to get a script out there in order to be funded, make the film and then take it around festivals to get distribution. This can be expensive, and if they only have 2-3 years left before they get distribution, they've lost half their window before anybody's seen the film. Especially if, as usually happens, the indie movie is less commercial than the Hollywood fare - they're more dependent on the movie itself as they can't make a toy line or licence a video game, etc.

    While not every movie is entitled to make money, and you only have yourself to blame a decade or more later, I think that 5 years is cutting it too fine and would have real negative consequences. Especially since Hollywood already controls many major media outlets (TV, theatres) and are successfully exerting increasing influence on others to do what's best for them (Netflix, YouTube, Hulu).

    "result in less formulaic projects as capturing the public's interest"

    I could only wish, but I don't think it would. It's just as likely to stop investors putting large amounts of money into "risky" projects and only invest in "safe" Hollywood-style fare. There might be other outcomes - especially as cheaper technology such as the RED camera and digital distribution put more power into the hands of indies who now need less money.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The purpose of copyright is to help authors cover the costs of production."

    Actually, it's there to help "promote the progress of science and useful arts". The intention is to encourage the artist to create further works, and one way to do this is to give the artist a reasonable amount of time to recoup their costs. While we may be better off if the profiteers left the art world, true artists do have to feed themselves as well.

    Licensing is one way this can be done without relying on just one revenue stream. My comment was simply to say - this avenue would be removed for most authors unless they've written a Harry Potter-sized literary hit.

    "If movie studios want to wait that out so their costs are lower, so much the better for them, and, assuming that saving is somewhat passed on in prices, so much the better for us too."

    ...but if the studio's actions remove the incentive to create new works ("why should I write another Harry Potter if they're just going to make $1 billion and not give me royalties?"), then it has the opposite effect of what's intended.

    I don't agree with the culture of entitlement that many "artists" seem to be involved in nowadays, but it would be hard to argue with someone seeing their work get misused just 5 years after they created it - especially as the modern marketplace is becoming more crowded on all sides. Works can naturally take more than a few years to find their audience. While I do agree that the current limits are stupid, artists do deserve *some* monopoly so they don't get ripped off by the corporations.

    "Where is the evidence to show that is economically sensible?"

    It's more of a personal opinion than something I can economically prove. My thinking here is that the lack of post-death renewal would prevent the situation that we're discussing above, while forcing an intermittent renewal reduces the likelihood of orphaned works being lost. The 15-20 years is a figure plucked from thin air to be honest, but it fits in with the 14-21 years that was common before the corporations got involved.

     

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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'll concede the point that movie makers should be given a fair amount of time to try to recoup their expenses. And perhaps 5 years would be too short. You make a good argument for the film industry.

    But if we do extend it too far, we’d be offering protection for the risk of bad movies. How long is too long? I don’t know. Some movies legitimately take a long time to recoup… I loved Donny Darko (but the sequel was weak tea at best) and I’m glad that it did well. But not every movie will. Look at Adam Sandler’s ‘Going Overboard’: horrible movie (in my opinion) that is only known about now because he went on to greater fame. The copyright system is not supposed to protect against the eventuality that a film might someday make money.

    And I think we both agree the 90/120 or Life+70 is far outside the intention of 'recouping expenses'. At that point, we're doing nothing but continuing to pay for people something they did long long ago. I wish I was still being paid for the burgers I flipped 15 years ago. Hell, I wouldn't have to work as hard now.

    And that's why I think our system is hindering creativity. Not only does it put in place stiff penalties for derivative works (which may be legitimately good on their own), but we're giving incentive to artists to NOT create anything new... why should they? They're still getting paid. If not them, then someone who didn't even create the work is getting paid for it.

     

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    Manfred Manfriend, Jan 4th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Why limit things to only 30 years? Or are you arguing nothing of value has been made in the last three decades? Hmm..you could be right there. Say coincidentally when did copyright get extended to infinity?

    [ponders] Nah, correlation is not causation. It is an interesting coincidence though, is it not?

    Any way you wanted an example--will this do? It was reported on this very site not too long ago: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100118/1050427800.shtml

    Yeah I know the reports later emerged that CBS had an issue with this specific group not so much with getting the episodes preserved before they were lost forever. Still, I'd imagine there have been no other efforts to do so and the film continues to rot away while CBS refuses to allow shows ALREADY in the Public Domain to be released. That right there ought make it clear just how much the tail has begun to wag the dog.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "But if we do extend it too far, we’d be offering protection for the risk of bad movies."

    I'm of the belief that the cream will rise to the top eventually, even if it takes a while (for example, two of my favourite films of all time - The Thing and Blade Runner - were considered massive flops at the time of their release). But, you have to remember that directors and writers often have a much slower turnaround between films than actors.

    Nobody's *entitled* to make a profit. If your work is terrible and you don't have a William Castle-like genius in marketing, you will (and should fail). I agree that there should be no protection for a movie as bad as Going Overboard, but the market is a terrible arbiter of taste at times.

    It's all about trying to find a balance. I'm simply of the opinion that, with what I know about the film industry, 5 years is too short and life+50 or 75 years is very silly. There's a large middle ground between those two extremes.

     

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    Jason, Jan 4th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's just the thing: the long tail in copyright is supposed to belong to the public.

    Even so, I would agree that the appropriate term probably falls somewhere between 5 and 20 years depending on the type of work.

     

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    Jason, Jan 4th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I don't normally defend the industry, but you're wrong, at least in the current way things are done."

    So what's REALLY wrong is "current way things are done." I agree.

    Sorry, but claiming distribution as your problem during the internet age rings awfully pathetic.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To give a relatively recent example, look at Donnie Darko.

    As proof that you're wrong: look at the sequel to Donnie Darko.

    ...I kid, I kid.

    I do get your point, though. The purpose of copyright is to provide an incentive to create new works. The most effective way is to make sure creators have the opportunity to a) pay back the original costs, and b) make enough to fund the next film. To do this, you need at least some way of making money on the "long tail."

    So, I agree, five years is way too short for most things. (Software might be an exception.) Originally it was 14 years + 14 renewed; that still seems about right to me.

    But playing the devil's advocate: Your film going into the public domain does not mean you can't still sell it. For example, if you can't market your film effectively, someone who can will come along and do it, and you can ride their coattails, as it were. Or, you can add something that's not in the public domain - a DVD with exclusive commentary, for example.

    Ideally, copyright laws would incorporate the best of both worlds. For example, there could be a thirty year copyright on verbatim copying, but only a fifteen year copyright on derivative works.

    In any case, all this discussion is moot. We're not the ones with millions to spend on lobbyists, so we're not going to be writing laws any time soon.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2011 @ 11:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "look at the sequel to Donnie Darko."

    I'd rather not :P

    "But playing the devil's advocate: Your film going into the public domain does not mean you can't still sell it."

    Yes, I'd also argue that, and it's one of the main points I have against people who argue against PD. Universal could still make money from Rear Window even if it was in the PD this year, etc.

    But, some people (read: major corporations) would almost certainly abuse the PD as they do the current copyright system. If you've had ample time to recoup your own investment then fair enough. But, if you've had problems finding a distributor for your indie movie and a major studio decides to remake your movie without paying you, as soon as it hits the 5 year mark? That would have to be demoralising and discouraging.

    "In any case, all this discussion is moot. We're not the ones with millions to spend on lobbyists, so we're not going to be writing laws any time soon."

    Sadly, this.

     

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    Not an electronic Rodent, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 1:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, I agree, five years is way too short for most things. (Software might be an exception.) Originally it was 14 years + 14 renewed; that still seems about right to me.
    I'd say that if anything films were the exception - I'm still not totally convinced there as in a hypothetical "5 year copyright" world I still think such things as distribution methods would adjust to "reality" and many of the problems Paul descibes would vanish. There are at least significant logistical challenges in producing a film and so a higher cost associated that has to be recouped though.

    On the other hand, take music - cost to produce, well.... very little really. You might pay for a studio, the expertise of someone that can "produce" the music for you, maybe you've hired a session musician or 2 then you have your product. Distribution? Worldwide distribution is only a few thousand pounds away at most with a hired payment service, server space and a number of off-the-shelf e-commerce solutions. It's not even capital outlay so you can stop any time you like if it turns out your music sucks too much for anybody to pay for it.

    Books? Write book on word processor, use same distribution method as above or other (hypothetically existing in "5 year copyright world") low cost PAYG online publisher.

    My (rambling) point being that if much of the "reason" for having long copyright is so the endless middlemen can get their wedge too and recoup the "costs" to leave some actually left over for the artist and such a process takes time, current technology suggests that this does not have to be the case and so a reduction in copyright should consider what is possible not what is.

    And after copyright is up, if someone make money off something of yours, well then them's the breaks - you already made your money on your thing and them making money is not losing you anythign it just means you now have to compete over it.

    On the other hand the 5-year number is a POOA number anyway and I'd damn well hope that rather than c*ck it up again that if such a utopian vision as reduced copyright for anything was going to happen that there would be an actual independant study by, well you know, smart people (as opposed to politicians and people with a vested interest) to make a decent evaluation of a "reasonable" time to get a return in investment for things. Instead of the partisan "stuff should be free" versus "I should get paid forever for work done 100 years ago every time someone thinks about it".
    Ok.. I dream, but what the hell?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  121.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Works can naturally take more than a few years to find their audience."

    This is a product of copyright.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  122.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "See, the content creators sold their rights (or assigned them to others) and profited from those rights when they were alive..."

    ...and then new laws were passed to retroactively extend the terms of those rights. How does THAT benefit the artists? How is that EVEN within the scope of the constitutional authority of Congress to make laws regarding copyright when that authority is expressly granted "to promote the progress," and retroactive copyright extension by definition does nothing to promote the progress?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  123.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "i figure 'five years from date of first publication, provided it is actually in print and available. terminated six months after it goes out of print if it does so before those five years are up'

    on the basis that if it's out of print they're not getting anything out of it Anyway... consider it a 'dog in the manger' clause. the six months is so they can organise it being published elsewhere if it was an issue with the publisher."


    None of that explains to me why five years is the number you chose. Do you consider that the optimum length and if so what do you base that on?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  124.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "well, if you consider that the whole point is to get them to keep making more stuff, then making it longer just reduces it's effectiveness because it's that much longer they can collect on a single work."

    You have explained why you believe it shouldn't be too long. Now I wonder, what makes you think four is too short? Or zero? You seem to be quibbling over a number that you plucked out of the ether.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  125.  
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    Maarten Zeinstra, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    Hi,
    When I forwarded this post to a interesting mailinglist about the public domain, I got some feedback by a law professor.
    He basically states, as the original article also states, that this is only true for published works.
    "[however] it is correct to say that no published works (technically, no works published before Jan. 1, 2003) entered the public domain in the U.S"
    So we can probably say that no complete oeuvres fell into the public domain on january 1st 2011. Individual works on the other hand can fall in the public domain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  126.  
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    Fred von Lohmann (profile), Jan 5th, 2011 @ 2:30pm

    actually, new things did enter public domain

    Sorry for weighing in here with a correction (rather than more colorful commentary), but actually, new works do enter the public domain each year under U.S. law -- unpublished works whose authors died more than 70 years ago. This is explained more fully in this law review article, and Section 303 of the Copyright Act.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  127.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 6th, 2011 @ 12:03am

    Re:

    Erm, what? Are you saying that individual works don't count as published works?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  128.  
    identicon
    Maarten Zeinstra, Jan 6th, 2011 @ 2:46am

    Re: Re:

    Well no,

    If a work is published they attract a different term of protection than when they remain unpublished.
    So the longest term of protection of an author would be somewhere around 70 years of his/her death.
    Unpublished works can have shorter terms of protection in some jurisdictions, as is the case in US.
    So no published works enter the public domain, but unpublished works will after a different term and have done so this year as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  129.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2014 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    FERPA is quietly being "fracked" right now..whilst Common Core is being. implimented..So, your copyright issues should be a mute point shortly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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